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tv   AB Cs World News Saturday  ABC  July 4, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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i'm davi i'm david muir. on "world news" this saturday, the sudden exit. governor sarah palin's bombshell resignation. tonight, why did she quit and is it the end of her political career or the beginning of something bigger? final farewell. new details tonight on michael jackson's elaborate funeral. will california's cash-strapped taxpayers have to foot the enormous bill. up in smoke. why a booming fourth of july tradition, is being silenced in many parts of the country. and crowning achievement. lady liberty's crown is open again. what you didn't see to make sure she was safe to climb once what you didn't see to make sure she was safe to climb once again. captions paid for by abc, inc.
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good evening. we're learning more why she might have done it. why sarah palin abruptly announced her resignation as governor of alaska. so many politicals were stunned that she quit with 18 months left in her first term. the question tonight is whether her unconventional exit boosts her political career or dooms it? here's kate snow. >> if i learned one thing it's that life is about choices. >> reporter: even on a holiday weekend, the internet today was swarming with theories and speculation. was governor palin avoiding a scandal, worried about a legal investigation or truly fed up with politics for good? there were no answers. even the lieutenant governor of alaska who will take palin's place in a few weeks admitted that he was caught off guard. >> as she began to expla why she was doing it, it was sarah
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pamon ving to put alaska's interests first. >> reporter: political opponents accused palin of abandoning the state. her former running mate weighing in for the first time was more gracious. saying she'll continue to play an important leadership role in the republican party. >> i will support others who seek to serve. in or out of office. i don't care what party they're in or no party at all. inside alaska or outside of alaska. >> reporter: she'll raise money. give speeches and write her book. a source close to palin insists she's made no decision on whether to run for president in 2012. but some former advisers said today, quitting her current job isn't a path to the presidn enc. >> only dead fish go with the flow. >> reporter: one former campaign official called her speech friday, incoherent, and saying that palin has become a damaging
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figure on the republican side. >> she has a lot of strength but she has not proven that she's up to the job of being a strong presidential candidate. >> reporter: the bottom line is that no one really knows what sarah palin is thinking than perhaps her small inner circle, david, which is very small. i'm told, about ten people that she has confidence in. >> so many people hanging on her every word. any chance that people are reading too much, that she simply wanted to bow out? >> absolutely. i talked tseveral people today, political operatives, former aides to her, let's take a step back, she's sick of the process, the petty attacks in her view, the blogs attacking her, it may just be that she wants out of political life all together. on to other end, it may be that she stays in, and there's certainly other republicans watching very closely to see what she does. people like tim pawlenty or mitt romney who might run in 2012.
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if she's in the room, it makes it a very different race. vice president joe biden squared off against sarah palin in the vice presidential debate last fall and abc's george stephanopoulos traveling with the vice president asked about sarah palin's sudden resignation today. >> those who have been deeply involved in politics know that at the end of the day, it's really and truly a personal deal. and personal family decisions have a real impact. i'm not going to second guess her. >> she cast her victim of political blood sport in that press conference. is that how you see it? >> no. i respect her decision. and i take her at her word. it had a personal ingredient in it and you have to respect that. >> there will be much more of george's interview with the vice president in iraq tomorrow morning on this week. in the meantime this is joe biden's first trip to iraq. as vice prident. it turned out a poignant ceremony that would make this a
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fourth of july to remember for biden. david kerley is in baghdad tonight. >> i thought it was going to be dirt and palm trees. >> reporter: they are u.s. soldiers. but not citizens, yet. >> my whole life growing up, i thought that i was already a citizen. >> in a sense it's our independence we can finally do what it is we are here to do. we can fight for our country. we can vote for it, also. >> i will support and defend the constitution and the laws of the united states of america. >> reporter: under a massive chandelier in one of saddam hussein's most opulent palaces, more than 230 service members, from 59 countries, became u.s. citizens. >> congratulations. >> reporter: and as if it wasn't enough to take the oath, on this day, the fouh of july. >> damn, i'm proud to be an american. it's a wonderful thing. >> reporter: the vice president was there, as their witness. >> you've struggled for us. you've bled for us. your brothers and sisters have
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died for us. even before you took the oath you were americans. >> jesus moran alvarez. >> vice president, wasn't expecting that. wow. as an u.s. citizen, i'm oud as heck to say so. >> reporter: vice president president biden stayed the ceremony was meaningful for him. because of the place, saddam's palace. and the time, the turnover of security in the cities to iraqis. in fact, later he said, referring to saddam hussein, "that s.o.b. is rolling over in his grave right now." david? >> abc's david kerley from baghdad. as u.s. combat troops pull out of iraq cities this week, in afghanistan, the fighting is intensifying. two u.s. troops died today when taliban militants fired rockets on a base in eastern afghanistan. mike boettcher is in afghanistan tonight. >> reporter: across e line of marine advance in south
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afghanistan, there were fireworks, the kind that can kill you. despite the chlenges, gulf company, kept a steady advance through taliban strongholds in the southern part of the country. their plan is to gain a strong foothold in a small village, until today, the taliban roamed freely. first however, the road in had to be cleared of mines and ieds. one brave marine pulled out the metal detector and went to work. >> when you enlisted you didn't ask for this, did you? >> no. >> reporter: most residents stayed hidden in their homes. the few who ventured out claimed they hafn't seen the taliban. many troops have been here many times for in helmand province. they said this time it's different. this time, they're staying. when the troops carrying out operation liberty were briefed, their commanding general made it clear heants marines engaged
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with afghans. >> if you're not eating a lot of goat, you're not doing what i want you to do. get out there, wade into the people, get to know the people. because they're the reason we're here. >> reporter: they're staying in this taliban stronghold, which means more clashes and a long war ahead. mike boettcher, for abc news. meantime, north korea today sent a message of defiance to the u.s. on this fourth of july, firing seven short-range missiles into the sea. a violation of u.n. resolutions. the u.s. did not take the bait. the state department issued a statement calling northi ya's not careful. we're following a story back here. steve mcnair has been shot and killed in an apparent double homicide. he led the tennessee titans to the super bowl in 2000. he retired from the baltimore rans last ye increasing fear in south
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carolina as a teen girl became the fifth victim of a suspecteder suspected er serial killer. all shootings have occurred within 10 miles of each other. we're learning more as well tonight, for plans of michael jackson's memorial service on tuesday. thousands of fans are expected to descend on los angeles. but, who's paying for it all? here's brian rooney. >> reporter: fans are coming to los angeles from all over the world. taking pictures outside the mansion where jackson died. tour buses passing, moonwalking outside the family home. >> i have been to his star, his home in holmby hills. >> reporter: in the last day and a half, people have registered online for 17,500 free tickets to the memorial. we punched in just one more name.
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so your registration for your chance to become the michael jackson public memorial service has been received. if you're successful, you'll receive an e-mail tomorrow sunday after 11:00 pacific. we'll see. >> reporter: the memorial will be held in the same arena where he was rehearsing for his big comeback, just two days before he died. no performers or details have been announced. only ticket holders will by allowed close to the staples center. 2500 law enforcement officers at a cost of $2.5 million. this while as los angeles is running $500 million deficit. >> we were giving pink slips out. we're in a major financial crunch. >> reporter: he's expected to be on monday in forest lawn ceremony among somof the biggest names in entertainment, lucille ball, betty davis, gene autry, just to name a few. but michael jackson is likely to
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be the big draw for years to come. brian rooney, abnews, los angeles. and abc news will have live coverage with charlie gibson of the michael jackson memorial serve starting at 1:00 p.m. eastern. since his death, the king of the pop has been the king of the pop charts. in fact, in an industry seeing a steep decle in cds, it's been a huge challenge to keep up with this renewed demand. here's eric horng. >> reporter: at reckless records in chicago, the king of pop is selling like one. everything with michael's name on it, gone. in this age of declining interest in albums, sales of jackson cds have increased a staggering 4,000%. amazon's top ten music sellers, are all jackson. and he's the first performer to sell over 1 million internet tracks in a week. >> definitely now after his death, i'm going to start collecting. >> reporter: jackson's record lal, sony, has been scrambling
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to meet demand. its new jersey plant churning out cds, even on this holiday. >> right now, it's pretty crazy. it's back up to overtime. they are calling everybody in. >> reporter: for an artist whose work has often been overshadowed by a dubious personal life. this surge in popularity, and profits, is perhaps the ultimate vindication. >> this is really the opportunity finally for people to remember what it was they loved about him. >> reporter: and retailers expect the trend to continue, perhaps for months, as details about jackson's death slowly comes to light. a long, final encore, for an artist whose music remains a thriller. eric horng, abc news, chicago. and on this fourth of july, preparations for fireworks tonight turned deadly in one north carolina community. one worker was killed and four others were injured on an island on the outer banks. still ahead as we continue on "world news" this saturday -- marking this holiday without the
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fireworks. cash-strapped towns forced to forego the fourth. he beat cancer too, what does lance armstrong still have to prove? and the park ranger who wouldn't give up on lady liberty. the precision drills you didn't see to make sure that visitors would be safe. ached all over. i felt this deep lingering pain that was a complete mytery to me. my doctor diagnosed it as fibromyalgia muscle pain and then he recommnded lyrica., of over-active nerves that cause chronic, widespread pain. lyrica is fda-approved to help relieve the unique pain of fibromyalgia. and with less pain, i can do more uring my day. how sweet is that? lyrica is not for everyone. tell you doctor about any serius allergic reaction, that causes swelling or #affects breathing or skin, or changes eyesight including blurry vision or muscle pain with fever ororired feeling. lyrica may cause suicidal thoughts
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fireworks. it turns out, they can't pay for them. here's abc's jeremy hubbard. >> reporter: it is a town draped in red, white and blue. but the sign at the park warns of something missing this july 4th. >> little disappointing that it won't happen this year? >> it's disappointing. >> reporter: town leaders in rahway, new jersey, pulled the plug on this weekend's fireworks display. having just laid off eight city workers, they can't justify the cost. >> it's not easy when you have to meet someone in the morning and say, you're going to be laid off, but enjoy the fireworks. >> reporter: with plummeting revenues and mounting budget woes, dozens of cash-strapped small towns across the country have scaled back, started charging admission or canceled festivities altogether. >> what's the fourth of july without fireworks? >> reporter: for families, it's always been cheap summer entertainment. but not for small town budgets. firerks shows can cost up to $50,000.
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plus overtime for police and paramedics. and corporate sponsorships many cities once relied on have all but dried up. even though the skies will be a bit darker over the park, people in rahway say they understand. it's part of the new economic reality here. >> i wouldn't want to see them blowing 30,000 to 40,000, wh whatever the amount is, on fireworks and i have friendsgetting laid off by the town. >> i didn't realize that it cost so much to have fireworks. >> reporter: one nearby town canceled its show. but got an 11th-hour reprieve when the local bank wrote a check to cover t cost. a sort of reverse bank bailout. >> you read in the paper about governments bailing out companies and in this case, a bank bailed out a municipality. >> reporter: others are already looking to next year, hoping to pool their money with neighboring towns. that way, everyone gets more
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bang for their buck. jeremy hubbard, abc news, rahway, new jersey. >> money or not, another fourth of july tradition went off with out a hitch tonight. the hot dog eating contest. two-time winner joey csthenut from california, did it again. downing a record of 68 hot dogs in just ten minutes. apparently, 3 1/2 more than his japanese arch-rival. when we come back, lance armstrong out of retirement. going r an eighth tour de france victory. does he have anything left to prove? > > so relax and take your time. tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. don't drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long term injury seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearingng or vision
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we're we're going to take a "closer look" at the extraordinary comeback of one of sport's greatest stars. when lance armstrong retired in 2005, he said it was for good. so, why is he back on his bike? for the start of another tour de france. from our partners at espn tonight, here's jeremy schaap. >> history in the making. seven-time winner of tour de france. >> reporter: four years ago, when lance armstrong retired, he was at the pinnacle of not only his sport, but of sport, period. he'd won seven consecutive tours de france. all after overcoming stage four cancer. it was time, he said, to move on
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to other challenges. >> there won't be number eight i can tell you that. seven is heaven. >> reporter: armstrong might be right. maybe there won't be number eight. but he's trying. today in monte carlo, where the 2009 tour de france got under way, he's back on his bike. >> the image on our screens that we never thought we would see again. >> reporter: armstrong has not been idle since his retirement. in four eventful years, he called off a high-profile engagement to sheryl crow, fathered a child? he stated by competing again, he hopes by again keeping to generate revenue for his cancer research foundation. it's also clear that one of the supreme competitors in the annals of sport missed the rush of the ride. he's driven too to refute the doping allegations that have dogged him for so long. a win now would bolster his case that he won all those other tours without cheating. four years ago, armstrong said it would be easy to adapt to
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making a smaller impact in retirement. >> i'm ready for the scales to be readjusted. both feet on the ground. >> reporter: now they're back on the pedals. seven might have been heaven. but it wasn't enough. eight? it would be more than great. it would be epic. for abc news, jeremy schaap, espn. >> our "closer look" tonight. and at wimbledon today, it was williams versus williams. in the women's finals. today it was little sister serena's day. she beat venus, the returning champ. the fourth all-williams final there. apparently settled the score. now each has beaten the other at wimbledon twice. wwhene come back the park ranger who wouldn't give up on lady liberty. the daring drills inside the statue. i can enjoy the zoo with my grandkids. (announcer) for people with copd including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both, great news. advair helps significantly improve lung function.
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fi finally tonight here, so much has been made this week of lady liberty's crowning moment and today it arrived. the statue of liberty crown open for the first time since 9/11. and what we didn't know, there was a park ranger and his team determined to get visitors back to the top. it was a tall order. a safety plan nearly eight years in the making. after 9/11 federal authorities shut down the statue of liberty,
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closing her crown indefinitely. a park ranger who first visited the statue as an 8-year-old boy, was determined to get lady liberty's admirers back to the top. >> i stopped talking to people. i went to the office, closed the door and started planning. >> reporter: he and his team of rangers began practicing a way to get tourist downs from the top, in case of emergency or something else. a systems of ropes and gurneys. today, their long-awaited moment arrived. up to the thousands who came, fewer than 300 people would climb all of the way to the top all for a chance to peek through the 25 windows of the crown. some barely tall enough to see out. for those back on the ground who learned that tickets had gone quickly, just knowing that the counsel is opened again, offered a powerful message this fourth. >> a crowning achievement. pardon the pun.
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>> reporter: this couple moved to the u.s. from india. and the statue's original message to welcome the huddled masses, seemed to offer her welcome again. >> it gives you peace. >> it gives you peace? >> yeah. >> reporter: for that determined ranger who first came here as boy, it was an image long overdue. >> team liberty. >> reporter: and when you look up and see people gazing out from the crown. >> you know, i haven't had that look yet. it's bringing me back ten years. i can see them waving. waving back. >> a park ranger who deserved that moment. that's "world news" for this saturday night. i'm david muir from all of us here at abc news, we thank you for watching. happy and safe fourth of july to you. have a good night. captions by vitac
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